What is a Celioscopy?

C. Peete

A celioscopy is an internal examination of the abdominal or pelvic cavity through the use of a celioscope, or laparoscope, that is inserted through the abdominal or pelvic wall. This procedure is also known as a laparoscopy. A celioscopy is performed in the hospital and on an outpatient basis.


Celioscopies are performed to diagnose and treat conditions involving the organs located in the abdominal area. The procedure may be used to diagnose cancer or other diseases of the stomach, liver, gallbladder and colon. Problems with the ovaries, digestive disorders and pancreatitis may also be assessed through a celioscopy. In addition, abdominal abscesses, ectopic pregnancies or other fallopian tube problems and abdominal scarring caused by trauma may also be considered for celioscopies. If necessary, a biopsy is taken during a celioscopy.

A celioscopy is minimally invasive and is performed under general anesthesia. Food and drink should not be consumed 12 hours prior to the operation, and an enema may sometimes be required to empty the colon. Individuals who have had abdominal surgeries in the past may not be viable candidates for a celioscopy, because scars left from prior surgeries can make it difficult or even dangerous to move the instruments throughout the abdomen.

To begin the procedure, a small incision is made just above or below the navel. Then, a small tube containing a tiny camera is inserted into the incision. Carbon dioxide gas is injected into the stomach to lift the abdominal wall and create an adequate space for the doctor to work and get a clearer view of the organs.

The celioscope is then inserted and the examination performed. After the celioscopy is complete, the celioscope is removed and the incisions stitched and bandaged. Sometimes a tube may be left in the abdomen to allow draining of fluids. There may be some discomfort caused by excess gas lingering in the abdomen that can press against the diaphragm and abdominal wall. The gas may also put pressure on the bladder, creating a frequent urge to urinate.

Post-operative incisions may throb and be painful. Patients can usually go home the same day—however, the hospital stay could be longer depending on the severity of the condition and the outcome of the celioscopy. This procedure is relatively low-risk, but with any surgery, there is always a risk of infection and bleeding, as well as a possible adverse reaction to anesthesia. Another risk is the potential for incisional hernias. Normal eating and drinking can resume three to four days after the procedure, and complete recovery usually takes four weeks.

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